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MoD Boscombe Down

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Empire Test Pilots School Alpha Jet & Avro RJ100.

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Runway(s) :
10,538ft (05/23)
6,280ft (17/35)

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Boscombe Down

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MoD Boscombe Down - IATA:, ICAO:EGDM
Empire Test Pilots School Alpha Jet & Avro RJ100.
ETPS Alpha Jet & Avro RJ100

MoD Boscombe Down is an aircraft testing site which is located at Amesbury in Wiltshire, and is run and managed by QinetiQ.

It is home to the Rotary Wing Test Squadron, Fast Jet Test Squadron, Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron, Handling Squadron, and the Empire Test Pilots School.

MoD Boscombe Down Satellite View

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Live Trackers
Plane Finder tracks mainly civilian flights but does also include some military aircraft such as the Tutor, Tucano, Hawk, Voyager, BAe 146, Squirrel HT1, and Sentinel R1 etc which can be seen over the UK. ADS-B Exchange (Click on ADSBX Radar View) tracks many other military aircraft such as Tornado, Typhoon, F-15, Hercules etc over the UK.

Scanner Frequencies

MoD Boscombe Down Scanner Frequencies
Approach - 126.700, 340.250, 130.000
Director - 362.050, 130.000
Zone - 126.700, 256.500
Radar - 292.275
PAR - 373.150, 130.000
Tower - 369.425, 130.750
Ground - 130.750, 374.450
OPS - 376.725
ATIS - 232.850

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Aircraft & Squadrons
Boscombe Down's primary role is to support the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by performing impartial flight trials of new aircraft, airborne equipment and weapons to assess safety and suitability.

The site has two runways of 10,538ft & 6,280ft and houses a fleet of test aircraft as well as being home to the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) and a variety of ground-based test facilities for aircraft and other military vehicles. It is home to the Rotary Wing Test Squadron, Fast Jet Test Squadron, Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron, Handling Squadron, as well as the Empire Test Pilots School. It is also currently home to the Southampton University Air Squadron and No.2 Air Experience Flight flying the Grob Tutor T1.

The Empire Test Pilots School aircraft include: 2x Agusta Westland AW109, Avro RJ70, Avro RJ100, BAe Hawk, Saab JAS 39 Gripen, Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet, Westland Sea King and Diamond DA42 M-NG.

Rotary Wing Test Squadron - Various.
206 Sqn (Heavy Aircraft OCU) - Various.
Empire Test Pilots School - Various.
University Air Squadron Southampton - Grob Tutor.
No.2 Air Experience Flight - Grob Tutor.
744 Naval Air Squadron - Crowsnest Merlin/Chinook.

744 Naval Air Squadron has been re-commissioned on 14/11/18 after 62 years to introduce the Crowsnest Merlin and modernised Chinook Mk5 and Mk6 helicopters to the frontline service.

Aircraft testing at the airfield started when the 'Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment' (A&AEE) moved from RAF Martlesham Heath in August 1939, as the Second World War hostilities commenced, when the airfield was known as RAF Boscombe Down.

Boscombe Down has witnessed many significant developments in the British aviation industry, including trials of many aircraft flown by the British armed forces since the Second World War, such as the first flights of the English Electric P 1, forerunner of the English Electric Lightning, the Folland Gnat and Midge, Hawker P.1067 (the prototype Hunter), Westland Wyvern and the BAC TSR.2.

In 1992 the site was renamed the 'Aircraft and Armament Evaluation Establishment' when experimental work moved to the Defence Research Agency. Responsibility for the site passed from the MoD Procurement Executive to the Defence Test and Evaluation Organisation (DTEO) in 1993, and subsequently to the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency in 1995. Following the creation of QinetiQ in 2001, a 25-year Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) was established with the MOD. Boscombe Down remains a government airfield but operated by QinetiQ on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.


ETPS Agusta Westland AW109.ETPS Agusta Westland AW109.

ETPS Alpha Jet & Hawk.ETPS Alpha Jet & Hawk.

ETPS Avro RJ100.
ETPS Avro RJ100 - Wikimedia Commons

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